Let’s talk about scams
Scams. It’s an important topic that needs to be discussed to ensure fewer people fall victim to them. But what is it you should be aware of going into the New Year? From fraudulent websites to text message scams, we’ve compiled a range of educational material for you to consider, to help you avoid falling into the hands of their crafty traps.
How to spot a scam
If you have even the smallest inkling that you have been contacted by a scammer, stop what you are doing and ask yourself the following questions from Which:
- Have you been contacted out of the blue?
- Are you being asked to share highly sensitive personal details?
- Are the individual/organisation’s contact details vague?
- Are you being asked to keep a secret?
- Is the offer too good to be true?
- Are you being pressured into making a decision?
- Are there any spelling or grammar mistakes in the contact you have had with said individual/ organisation?
Scammers will do anything they can to obtain valuable personal information. Being aware of the types of scams and how they work could help you avoid being a target.
This could involve but is not limited to, scammers setting up a website imitating a pre-existing organisation’s website and offering deals that are too good to be true. Using the list below, you could avoid being targeted in looking for these key signs.
- Check the domain name of the website. For example, our domain name is www.no1copperpot.com. However, if you were to see www.no2copperpot.com this should raise alarm bells for you.
- Never pay by bank transfer as you can do very little to get your money back by paying via this form of payment method. Instead, ensure you are either paying by your debit or credit card while shopping online as you have more legal rights.
- Look out for the lock symbol on the left-hand side of the URL search bar. Websites such as ours have this symbol to show that your data on the website is encrypted, meaning that your data can’t be intercepted. Not seeing this could be a warning sign.
- Check the returns policy and T’s and C’s section. If a website does not have either or one of these, this could be a red flag.
Unfortunately, scam emails are extremely popular with some individuals receiving multiple scams a day. So, how can you limit the chance of being caught out?
- Check the ‘from’ names on email address. Some scam email addresses have a completely random email address behind the ‘from’ name. Clicking on the ‘from’ name to view the raw email address can help you identify if this is genuine contact. For example, all email correspondence from us will end with @no1copperpot.com.
- Is the greeting impersonal? Sometimes scammers will only say ‘Hi’ and not include your first name.
- Do you notice in the email that the word ‘official’ is being used a lot? This could be an attempt to seem legitimate.
- Are you being rushed to not miss out on an ‘exclusive’ deal? It’s always better to miss out on a deal rather than be a victim of a scam. However, you can check (in a new tab or window on your device) if the deal is genuine by searching the organisation’s name. Make sure you never click any link on an email that you suspect is a scam.
Fraudsters want to deceive you into thinking that you are having genuine communication with who they said they are. Unfortunately, this is not always true.
- Have you been randomly contacted, despite there being no reason why you should be expecting contact with said individual/organisation?
- Are you being told you are owed thousands in PPI or insurance money, despite not making an enquiry or claim? This potentially may be a scam however if you are unsure, end the phone call, search the company’s contact details via the web and then call the official telephone number that has been listed.
- Never share your full bank or personal details over the phone. You may be asked a set of GDPR questions asking to confirm your name and address; however, this will never extend to personal information such as bank details and other highly sensitive personal information.
- Text messages from established organisations will usually have the brand name appearing in the contact details rather than displaying a random phone number. For example, our text communications will appear on your phone as being from CopperPot.
- Have you been sent a random tracking link for a delivery? Reflect on any purchases you may have made and look at your order confirmation details. Most companies will send you tracking information via email to confirm your order is on its way.
- If you receive a message asking you to contact a friend/relative on a new number as something has happened to their phone, then they request you send them money, contact the person on the number you have saved before even considering sending cash.
Remember to stop before acting if you’re ever unsure. Unfortunately, no one is immune to scammers. If you think you have been a victim of scamming or have been scammed, we recommend reaching out to these specialist organisations for specialist support:
Click here to visit Victim Support
Click here to visit the Samaritans
For more insightful information on scams and wider fraud in general, click here to visit Take Five where you can continue growing your knowledge.
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